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Old 02-12-2011, 10:23 AM
Colt0208 Colt0208 is offline
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Default Shelf life of home canned goods



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Hey guys, looking at buying my first pressure canner, and learning how to can. My question is, what is the average shelf life of properly canned food? I will most likely be doing fresh veggies, various stews, and fruit/jam.. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

To be honest, I am torn between a dehydrator or a pressure canner.. I am new to both. I have read dehydrated foods have a long shelf life. I have tried to search but can't seem to come up with a solid answer for home canned goods.
Old 02-12-2011, 04:50 PM
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It's really hard to find an accurate answer on this. About the best I've been able to find is that home-canned foods will retain their nutrition for 2-5 years, depending on storage. Some say they will slowly start to lose their nutritional value after that...but...if the lid is still sealed, the product is still safe to eat regardless of how old it is.

I've been canning and dehydrating for a couple of years now. Between the two methods, if I could only choose one, I prefer canning and would purchase a Pressure Canner over a Dehydrator any day. With the exception of the potatoes I've dehydrated (both white and sweet in my Excalibur) I'm not overly impressed with the dehydrated fruits/veggies but love everything I have canned. The dehydrator does have it's place but if I had to do it over and could only purchase one, it would be the canner.

HTH.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:30 PM
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Ditto canner.
I agree with the above - but add that storing your foods in teh dark will be necessary for long life. Daylight destroys the nutrients in canned goods faster than anything and will in fact bleach food.

A lot of dehydrators are just small fan ovens. Do you have access to a fan oven where you live that can run at a low temperature?

I think you will get more joy out of canning for now, and will be able to add the dehydrator in down the track.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:59 PM
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Thanks alot guys! I am picking up a pressure canner tomorrow.... I plan on storing my jars in boxes in my basement.... I think that canning is the way to go for now, and like you say, add a dehydrator later..... Thanks again for the advice..
Old 02-12-2011, 09:05 PM
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Happy Canning!
Old 02-12-2011, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt0208 View Post
Thanks alot guys! I am picking up a pressure canner tomorrow.... I plan on storing my jars in boxes in my basement.... I think that canning is the way to go for now, and like you say, add a dehydrator later..... Thanks again for the advice..
Do yourself a favor and buy a good one as the cheaper ones with the gaskets will fail, PRESTO makes some that are gasket-less. If you buy one with the gasket make sure you buy some replacements for it and store them in a cool dry place away from light so they do not deteriorate to quickly. Congratulations on the canning you wont regret it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:00 AM
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Home canned goods are often in great condition for decades.

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Old 02-13-2011, 09:12 AM
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Yep. Recently I found a jar of pickles my grandmother canned 40 years ago, and since the lid was in tact, I tried some and they were fantastic. Very yummy, sweet pickles.

These were stored in root cellar-like conditions (i.e. cool with no light), so that likely helped.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:41 PM
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Properly canned foods will last literally for decades as long as the seal is intact. Doesn't metter whether it's home canned or store bought. The food inside is sterile, so there's no bacteria to grow in it, unless it can somehow get in from the outside.

Over time the food will lose flavor, texture, and some of the nutrition, but it never actually spoils as long as it remains properly sealed.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:20 PM
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Awesome.... Thanks alot for the replies! I just came home with a Presto 16 quart... I know it's not the best one out there, but it will help me get started and I got it brand new for 1/2 off..... Look forward to reading up on different methods and recipes. Thanks again....
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